Saturday, March 30, 2013

An Un-Interview with Richelle Mead

I'm so glad everyone enjoyed the last post with Marissa Meyer. It was a fantastic opportunity to talk with her and get to meet a couple new authors on the scene. I met Marissa last year at the PNWA Conference in Seattle along with Richelle Mead, Gwen Hayes and a few others. Of course, I had my copies of Cinder and Vampire Academy there for them to sign, and my camera to get picks of them signing my books. Yeah, I know. I'm a derp. When I considered Richelle for a blog interview, I went to her website, and sadly discovered she rarely does interviews...but she does have the most commonly asked questions answered on her site. So, with vague hope, I shot an email to her, fully not expecting to hear back from her anytime soon, if at all. So. The fan girl/derp thing hit me once again the next day when, lo and behold, in my inbox was an email from none other than the lovely Richelle Mead herself. Yeah, okay, so it was quick and to the point, very business-like, but she did inform on some info from her 'commonly asked questions' that was incorrect and out dated. And I'm so excited to share that news! But not just yet...

Her letter read thusly,
Isn't she pretty?

 Hi Su, Thanks for writing! You are definitely welcome to re-post info from my website--that's what it's there for. :) Just make sure to mention that's where it came from, and you're all good. 

So, with that in mind, here are the answers to some of her Most Commonly Asked Questions.

How did you get started writing?
I've wanted to write for my entire life. When I was little, I used to design my own picture books. As I got older, I began trying to write short stories. During high school and college, I fell away from writing and ended up getting degrees in other things and becoming a middle school English teacher. Not long after that, I started writing a sci-fi book as a hobby. Nothing ever came of it, but it trained me up to write Succubus Blues. I sold it relatively quickly, and from there, I began writing my other series.

Where do you get your ideas from? Are your characters or books based on real life?
None of my characters or situations are based on anything in real life--it all comes from my head! That being said, the things in my head are fueled by the world around me. I do a lot of mythological research, and often that triggers an idea for a book (like how the Romanian myth of Strigoi and Moroi inspired Vampire Academy). Sometimes tiny little things I observe in the world will spark an idea too. Writing and story creating is so complex that there's no one good answer to say where a book comes from.
I want to be a writer. Can you give me writing advice or tell me how to get published?
Getting published is a complex process that would take pages to explain. Fortunately, author Holly Lisle has created pages to explain it! Check out her site here for a comprehensive FAQ. Author Tamora Pierce also has a really excellent website on how to get an agent and get published, with specific information for young writers.

If there's a Vampire Academy movie, can I be it? Will you let me audition?
Aw, this is nothing I would have any control over! If there was a VA movie (and like I said, there are no plans right now), it would all be in the film company's hands. This is very common, despite rumors that JK Rowling and Stephenie Meyer picked their casts (they didn't).

And this the bit that needs updated on Miss Richelle's site:
The movie news is actually out of date there, and I need to fix it!  There is a movie in progress, and those updates are here on my blog right now (which you may also cite): Richelle's Blog

Good luck with everything!


That's my copy of Cinder in her hands
 So there you have it...
The sorta un-interview with Richelle Mead, author of the Vampire Academy series and the Succubus series. Richelle is a very sweet lady, and completely beautiful. I just couldn't get over how YOUNG she and Marissa Meyer were. I'm so glad I got the opportunity to meet them at last year's conference. It was worth just for that.

Sunday, March 24, 2013

NYT Best Selling Author: MARISSA MEYER

OK, if you haven't heard of Marissa Meyer, let me fill you in. Marissa is a fellow-Washingtonian, who lives in Tacoma with her husband and two cats. She's a fan of most things geeky (Sailor Moon, Firefly, color coordinating her bookshelf...) And has been in love with fairy tales since she was a kid...which wasn't that long ago...which she doesn't intend to ever grow out of. Her first book, Cinder, is a retelling of the story of Cinderella as a cyborg. Her second novel in the Lunar Chronicles Series is called Scarlet, which continues the story of Cinder, as well as Marissa's version of Little Red Riding Hood. BTW...Scarlet debuted #4 on the NYT Best-Sellers YA List when it was released in February.

I was fortunate enough to meet Marissa at last summer's PNWA conference in Seattle. And went totally fangirl. But, hey. She remembered me. Marissa has been kind enough to answer a few questions and I'm excited to share her, her books and her answers with you.

You've done many interviews. What were 2-3 of your favorite questions you were asked? And the answers.

Marissa: Oh gosh, they all start to blur together after awhile! But I enjoy the fun, random questions. Someone once asked what the characters' karaoke songs would be - I believe I said David Bowie's "Fashion" for Iko and "Domo Arigato, Mr. Roboto" by the Styx for Cinder... IF you could convince her to get on stage at all, which is unlikely! I've also been asked what reality TV shows the characters would excel at, and I suggested "Dancing with the Stars" for Kai (rawr) and "Survivor" for Wolf.

What advice would you give to someone who is just starting their writing journey?

Marissa: Embrace the journey! We get into writing because it's something we love to do, something we're passionate about. It can be difficult to stay focused on that and not get caught up in the need to be published. And yes, being published is a great goal to strive for, but first and foremost writers should make sure they're telling the stories they love and enjoying every moment of it. Don't get too impatient to move ahead to the next step of your career.

What were your favorite books/authors as a child?

Marissa: I loved The Little House on the Prairie Books and Anne of Green Gables, and when I was a little older, The Hobbit and The Giver, both of which changed the way I viewed books in general, and how they could alter the way we perceive the world and storytelling.

Who are your top 5 favorite 'best-selling' authors, now?

Marissa: So hard to choose!! I suppose: Leigh Bardugo (SHADOW AND BONE), Kristin Cashore (GRACELING), Veronica Roth (DIVERGENT), Kendare Blake (ANNA DRESSED IN BLOOD), and C.J. Redwine (DEFIANCE). I don't know if those last two are technically best sellers, but they should be!

Are there any indie authors/books that you would suggest?

 Marissa: Honestly, I don't pay attention to who publishes the books that I read, so I'm not sure which ones qualify as indie! There are two fairy tale based novels that came out last year though that I THINK qualify as indie, and while I haven't read either yet, I'm super excited about them both: FIRST FROST by Liz DeJesus and BONDED by Michelle Davidson Argyle.

So there you have it. The one. The only. The incomparable...Marissa Meyer. Thank you Marissa for taking time for this interview from what, I am sure, is a crazy busy book tour.

Friday, March 15, 2013


 Artist Shawn Foote has an amazing imagination. Using mixed media; acrylic, pen, pencil and even a little glitter, he created two original pieces of art. One is the snowy forest that makes up the back-most image of the cover. The second is the image of Emari embroiled in nightmares.
 This is the full layout of the cover...with one minor exception; the blurb on the back was changed at the last minute.

Thank you to Shawn, Jared and everyone who helped decide on this cover. I am more pleased than words can express!

Sunday, March 10, 2013

An Interview With Author Angela Scott

Author of Dessert Rice Series and Zombie West Series
Picture I hear voices. Tiny fictional people sit on my shoulders and whisper their stories in my ear. Instead of medicating myself, I decided to pick up a pen, write down everything those voices tell me, and turn it into a book. I’m not crazy. I’m an author. For the most part, I write contemporary Young Adult novels. However, through a writing exercise that spiraled out of control, I found myself writing about zombies terrorizing the Wild Wild West—and loving it. My zombies don’t sparkle, and they definitely don’t cuddle. At least, I wouldn’t suggest it.
What advice would you give to indie authors getting ready to publish? 
The biggest advice I can give is to make sure the product you plan to publish is as perfect as you can get it. Nothing is ever perfect-perfect, but try and get as close to it as you can. Hire a professional editor. That is HUGE. Pay for a good looking cover design. These things are so important and readers are picky and they will ding you in reviews for those kind of things. Don't skimp on those two things. I can't stress that enough.
What were your favorite books/authors as a child? 
I loved Beverly Cleary! I also read all the books in The Box Car Children set. Well, as many of those books as I could get my hands on. On my 8th birthday I received the box set of all the Laura Ingalls Wilder Little House on The Prairie books, read those, and I still have them to this day. Now to convince my daughter to read them. I've held onto them for 32 years.

Who are your top 5 favorite 'best-selling authors, now? 
Jodi Picoult has always been one of my favorites to read. I can read anything of hers and be happy. I also enjoyed Suzanne Collins and the Hunger Games. Most everything else I read, lately, have been by other indies who wouldn't be considered best sellers, but who's books I've enjoyed and wanted to support. I read a lot of indie lately. 
Are there any indie authors/books that you would suggest? 
I'm going to give a shout out to some of my dear friends, who's books are amazing but very few people know about. The first is Robb Grindstaff, author of Hannah's Voice. I loved this book and it is written extremely well. One of my all time favorites. My next shout out goes to Stevie Mikayne, author of Jellicle Girl. This too is an amazing book and the characters are fantastic. I would also suggest trying John Abramowitz and Shannon Mayer for some wonderful zombie tales :)  

What is one piece of advice you would give to new and aspiring writers? 
 I know this question is redundant, but I really liked Angela's response to another interviewer. 
You're always going to suck as a writer. Frank and downright mean, right? But it's true. And once you believe you don't suck anymore, then you need to step away from writing and no longer do it. Because no matter how much you learn, how much you grow, how great you might think your writing is, there is always, always, room to improve. Keep learning, keep writing, keep creating, but never ever think you're done learning. Be humble and continue to improve and improve and improve… 

Just for a little fun, Angela played; This or That?
 #1 - iPd or Mp3? iPD

#2 – Chocolate or Vanilla? Chocolate

#3 – Mashed Potatoes or French Fries? Mashed potatoes with fries on top.

#4 – Comedy or Drama? Comedy

#5 – Danielle Steel or Nicholas Sparks? Danielle Steel

#6 – Fantasy or Reality? Reality

#7 – Call or Text? Call

#8 – Public School or Home School? Public School

#9 – Coffee or Hot Chocolate? Hot chocolate

#10 – eBook or Paperback? eBook 

Where can readers find you?

Oh, I love to be stalked. I can be found at these various places:

Twitter: @whimsywriting


Killin' walkers and havin' a smoke. Male bonding in a zombie apocalypse.

Many thanks to Angela Scott for taking the time to do this interview with me and sharing previous interview answers. Check out her blog for lots of great info!

I have one final question for Angela and you! If you could be any character in any story, who would you be? 

Monday, March 4, 2013

Just a Short Post

Is that possible for a writer? A short post?
Well, I am going to be as brief as possible. I've been spending a lot of time learning about how Indie Authors promote their books. I've come across several great sites, and will post links here to get to them soon, I just had to give a shout out to one site in particular. 

Florence Osmund
Her first book, "The Coach House," was released in April 2012.  Its sequel, "Daughters," was released in February 2013.  A third novel, "Mystic Coins," is currently in the works.

As well, Ms. Osmund has a comprehensive website with a plethora of information for the indie author. The site is well-built and professional.
If you have questions about the indie journey, chances are she's covered it here.

Stay Tuned
Coming very soon: an interview with Cally Jackson on her novel, The Big Smoke; and check out Ms. Angela Scott, who also has some great encouragement to offer the struggling author. 

Short and Sweet
See? I did it.

And now the big question!
What are you doing, as an indie author to promote your work? Please feel free to leave your answers and comments. I look forward to hearing from you!

Thanks for checking in!
Dare to Dream!